Thursday, April 29, 2010

Yuko Ito Sings Brazilian Bossa-Samba Standards

Today a look at Tokyo born-and-bred vocalist Yuko Ito. She started out in a rock context, recording two albums with the all-girl band Sissy Boy. Yuko then moved to the Big Apple in 1994 and has transformed herself into a jazz vocalist of poise and finesse.

Her new release Mania de Voce (Funny Baby Face) tackles ten standards of the bossa-samba variety, great songs arranged well by Yuko and Itaiguara Brandao. You'll find many, if not most of these songs familiar to you if you have listened at any length to Brazilian jazz.

The band has moments of heat and other moments where the light lilt of bossa is foremost. Either way they give good support to Yuko's vocals. She has a very attractive instrument. Her voice has the punchy rhythmic attack that is so essential to this music. Her pitch control is dead-on. Phrasings show subtlety and the sound of her voice is quite attractive.

She is a vocalist that should get attention. This is some very fine music.

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